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The PostgreSQL 9.0 Reference Manual - Volume 3 - Server Administration Guide
by The PostgreSQL Global Development Group
Paperback (6"x9"), 274 pages
ISBN 9781906966072
RRP £9.95 ($14.95)

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13.4.3 Using Probes

The example below shows a DTrace script for analyzing transaction counts in the system, as an alternative to snapshotting pg_stat_database before and after a performance test:

#!/usr/sbin/dtrace -qs

postgresql$1:::transaction-start
{
      @start["Start"] = count();
      self->ts  = timestamp;
}

postgresql$1:::transaction-abort
{
      @abort["Abort"] = count();
}

postgresql$1:::transaction-commit
/self->ts/
{
      @commit["Commit"] = count();
      @time["Total time (ns)"] = sum(timestamp - self->ts);
      self->ts=0;
}

When executed, the example D script gives output such as:

# ./txn_count.d `pgrep -n postgres` or ./txn_count.d <PID>
^C

Start                                          71
Commit                                         70
Total time (ns)                        2312105013

Note: SystemTap uses a different notation for trace scripts than DTrace does, even though the underlying trace points are compatible. One point worth noting is that at this writing, SystemTap scripts must reference probe names using double underscores in place of hyphens. This is expected to be fixed in future SystemTap releases.

You should remember that DTrace scripts need to be carefully written and debugged, otherwise the trace information collected might be meaningless. In most cases where problems are found it is the instrumentation that is at fault, not the underlying system. When discussing information found using dynamic tracing, be sure to enclose the script used to allow that too to be checked and discussed.

More example scripts can be found in the PgFoundry dtrace project.

ISBN 9781906966072The PostgreSQL 9.0 Reference Manual - Volume 3 - Server Administration GuideSee the print edition